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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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OM, AUM

Hinduism
Many Paths to One God

The Gayatri Mantra

The Gayatri Mantra, also known as the Savitri Mantra, is one of the most important mantras in the Hindu scriptures. It is found in the Rig-Veda (Rig- Veda III/62/10).It is perhaps the greatest Vedic mantric chant.

This mantra is chanted at sunrise, noon and sunset. At dawn it is called Gayatri, the youthful form of the Goddess, consort of Lord Brahma, the creator. It is called Savitri, the mature form, at noon, the consort of Lord Shiva. It is called Sarasvati, the elderly form, at sunset, the consort of Lord Vishnu.

The Gayatri Mantra was first cognized by the Rishi Vishwamitra. Rishi Vishwamitra is the embodiment of tapas or ascetic force and his mantra carries that power of light, energy and transformation. Through it one can be born again (dwija) or twice born in truth, in the heavenly stream of Divine wisdom.

This great mantra consists of three parts. The first is the chants to the seven worlds. The second is the mantra proper of twenty-four syllables. The third is a summary of the mantra's energies. The following is a brief explanation of the mantra as presented in the Mahanarayana Upanishad.

The Head of the Gayatri

OM Bhuh!- the physical realm or earth, realm of being or food
OM Bhuvah! - the vital plane or atmosphere, realm of becoming or breath
OM Suvah! - the mental plane, space or heaven, realm of illumination
OM Mahah! - the sphere of cosmic mind, realm of Dharma
OM Janah! - the realm of creation or bliss
OM Tapah! - the realm of consciousness-force
OM Satyam! - the realm of absolute truth

The Body of the Mantra

OM
Tat - That
Savitur - Of Savitar, the solar Creator
Varenyam - Supreme
Bhargo - Effulgence
Devasya - Of the God
Dhimahi - We meditate
Dhiyo - Intelligences, minds
Yo - Who
Nah - Our
Prachodayat - May direct

"We meditate upon the supreme effulgence of the Divine Solar Creator that he may direct our minds."

The Tail of the Gayatri

OM 
Apo - the Cosmic Waters
Jyoti - the Cosmic Light
Rasomritam - the Immortal Essence
Brahma - the Absolute
Bhur - the physical
Bhuvas - the atmospheric
Suvar - the realm of space
OM - the four higher realms

"OM, the waters, the light, the immortal essence, Brahman, earth, atmosphere, heaven, OM."

The Supreme Self, Paramatman, or Savitar, is the conscious being within the cosmic sun or Light of lights. The mantra is his creative force, the Divine Word. Savitar is the master of all transformations and the director of all higher evolution. He is the Self of Brahman, the pure being of the Absolute.

The Gayatri Mantra releases the supreme solar power, the power of the inner sun of Self-realization and cosmic creation. Those wishing to bring about a new creation or new dawn for humanity of this dark age, should chant this mantra. Those wishing to transcend this world of Samsara can also use the mantra as a stairway to the infinite. This mantra also grants intelligence, creative vision and healing powers.

Used with the chants to the seven worlds it unfolds all the secrets of the universe outwardly and inwardly.

The Gayatri mantra is central to Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology. 
For Yoga it sets in motion the Divine will toward transformation, stimulating the Kundalini force. 
For Vedanta it grants Self-knowledge, knowledge of the solar Self. 
For Ayurveda it gives the power of the cosmic prana that is born of the sun. 
For Jyotish (Vedic astrology) it gives knowledge of the movements of the heavenly bodies ruled by the cosmic sun.

Source: The Mantric Approach of the Vedas by David Frawley

Return to: Mantras And Sacred Symbols

See Also:

OM, AUM

How To Chant

Rudraksha Beads - Hinduism's 'Miracle Bead'

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